While the integrated development of the Yangtze River Delta region has progressed steadily ever since it was elevated to a national strategy in 2018, financial institutions have been evaluating the potential in this land for future growth.
Ma Chunlei, director of Yangtze River Delta Regional Cooperation Office, said at the Lujiazui Forum in Shanghai in June that the provinces and the municipality included in the strategy－Jiangsu, Zhejiang, Anhui and Shanghai－will release their respective detailed action plans by the middle of this month latest.
Some 320 key projects will be carried out in the next three years to lay a better groundwork for the integrated development of the delta region, said Ma.
These will include connecting dead-end roads and proliferating the use of QR codes at major subway stations in the area.
Bank of Communications see one-third of its 10 trillion yuan ($1.45 trillion) assets coming from the Yangtze River Delta region, said the bank’s vice-chairman Ren Deqi. He further said the bank was advancing innovation in its financial management mechanisms.
Since the area features two free trade zones in Shanghai and Zhejiang, Bank of China will come up with more offshore FTZ businesses in the near future.
Kong Qingwei, chairman of China Pacific Insurance (Group) Co Ltd, said the Yangtze River Delta region is a key driver of the group’s annual income and innovative development. Of the insurer’s 126 million customers in China, 30 million live in the region, and account for 80 billion yuan, or 25 percent, of the insurer’s 320 billion yuan in total premiums.
As Kong understands, there are plenty of opportunities for insurance companies in the integrated development of the Yangtze River Delta region, with transportation as a top priority.
“Insurance capital can help the government to boost domestic consumption. A comprehensive transportation network connecting railway, subway, ports and even airports has been a long-standing goal of many cities in this area. This is where insurers can play a big role,” he said.
Elderly care is another sector where insurance companies can find big opportunities, said Kong. In early June, CPIC opened an elderly care community in Hangzhou, and is about to launch a new one in Nanjing.
“The idea is to let the senior citizens in Shanghai enjoy quality elderly care services in other parts of the Yangtze River Delta region. More room in Shanghai can thus be given to ambitious young entrepreneurs to set up their own businesses,” he said.
The integration of risk prevention schemes for peasants in the Yangtze River Delta region is one more area where insurers can focus on, said Kong.
Peasants’ income can be largely increased via products such as cost insurance, yield insurance, income insurance or one-stop insurance service.
He Haifeng, director of the Institute of Financial Policy, which is a part of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said the integrated development of the delta region presents many latent challenges. So, more efforts should be made to reform finance and tax areas, to reduce fees in various fields, and improve the overall business environment.